Winter racing could not damage the impeccable strike rate of Te Akau Racing Stables who won the $50,000 (listed) Great Northern Foal Stakes with Flying Fulton at Ellerslie yesterday.

Matamata trainer Mark Walker is the king of thoroughbred age group racing in New Zealand - justifying the amount of winking principal David Ellis does at the yearling sales in his quest to secure that next superstar.

Ellis paid $210,000 for Flying Fulton at New Zealand Bloodstock's Karaka Ready To Run Sale and the colt showed plenty of stamina and class when it mattered powering through testing winter track conditions to deliver a determined victory. Ellis has been a huge supporter of New Zealand racing for years.

New Zealand's most successful thoroughbred syndicator was heading to the Gold Coast to inspect yearlings in search of more quality horseflesh for a huge pool of demanding owners.

Justanexcuse was an uncontested leader in the 1400m event and appeared to have the field in trouble on the home turn when heading to the middle of the track in search of better footing and maintaining a good lead.

Flying Fulton responded to an aggressive ride by Vinnie Colgan, reeling in the leader and holding out the fast-closing Bally Duff to win by a long head.

A further length away in third was Justanexcuse.

Walker is an astute conditioner of 2-year-olds and Flying Fulton carried plenty of support heading into the race on the strength of an impressive last-start second placing behind the highly-regarded Justanexcuse.

The race was robbed of plenty of interest with the scratching of the unbeaten Prince Of Wales who cut a leg in a paddock mishap on Friday.

Co-trainer Paul Moroney had to scratch the son of Bachelor Duke from the late season 2-year-old feature.

"He cut his leg on Friday afternoon and our vet said he was a little touchy on the leg so we treated him for the injury and pulled him out of the race," said Moroney.

"It's a shame it happened but you get these things from time to time when racing a large stable. We'll get the leg injury healed up and head to Foxton with him."

MICHAEL COLEMAN earned every dollar of his riding fee when getting the consistent Blackhall home for a narrow victory in the Rating 90 1400m.

Blackhall powered to the front with 200m remaining but shortened stride quickly over the closing stages of the race when Waikeepadacash put in a spirited challenge.

Coleman was not to be denied, and under a vigorous ride, the 4-year-old kicked back winning by a half-head over Waikeepadacash. A further 1 lengths away third was Tycoon.

Blackhall has been a solid performer for Matamata trainer Paul Jenkins scoring four wins and six minor placings from 14 starts.

Blackhall, like many runners yesterday, struggled in the testing track conditions but got to the winning post with his ears pricked.